For a long time, no sport could break the hegemony of football, hockey and basketball as the most popular sports. But in recent years, the situation has changed dramatically and, according to a number of authoritative publications, now the palm belongs to eSports.
Virtual sports are distinguished not only by entertainment but also by the rapid increase in the number of professional players and the spectator audience, which is also confirmed by numerous tournaments on play-score.com. There are already active discussions aimed at including this sport in the program of the Olympic Games and it is safe to say that this will happen in the near future.
How esports has made a breakthrough
There are many reasons that directly or indirectly affect the popularity of this young but very promising sport. According to experts, this phenomenon is associated with such aspects:
- The role of the media
- Investment component
Today, esports is available to almost everyone, regardless of gender, age and physical condition. To succeed, you need to know the basic rules and persevere towards your goal. And there will definitely be a chance to prove yourself.
The development of any sport involves an investment component. In this regard, eSports has no problems. On the contrary, every year the number of those wishing to invest in this direction is increasing, and we are talking not only about some private investors but also about large corporations.
The impact of esports on health
From time to time you can hear different opinions that eSports has a certain negative impact on athletes, especially children, and teenagers. But the specialists did not find any confirmation of such statements. On the contrary, studies have shown that during the game, the heart rate is within the normal range.
Moreover, e-sportsmen have better-developed reactions and quick decision-making. Research in this area is ongoing, but at this stage, there is no cause for concern. The main thing is to regularly exercise physical activity and perform special exercises for the eyes.
In team disciplines, the problem of effective communication is most acute, since many players get into teams due to exclusively individual skills and are not able to integrate them into the team process on their own. The relatively low communication skills of players are a hallmark of esports. This is due to both personal (players often appear as accentuated personalities, and in some cases borderline states and disorders can be diagnosed), and social and environmental factors.
Discipline and motivation
Another distinctive feature of esports is the relatively weak discipline of the players, associated, among other things, with the youth of both the esports players themselves and the industry as a whole. So far, there are no attempts to systematize gaming activities as
a separate sport with its strict periodization of loads, formed by diet, basic requirements of physical fitness, etc. This is reflected in the behavior of the players: non-observance (or even absence) of the regime, violation of subordination, and intraorganizational arrangements.
The last component of the psychological support of an esports organization is pedagogical or training work. It is worth noting that the foreign model of mental skills) is consonant with the semantic field of e-sports, where experienced players are traditionally called “skilled”.
The universal and narrow impact of video games
Different genres in esports have specific effects on mental health:
- strategies improve cognitive abilities, reduce the severity of symptoms of dyslexia – difficulty reading;
- shooters and online games facilitate socialization, lead to overcoming the feeling of loneliness in case of social phobia;
- puzzles prevent depressive episodes and increase motivation.
In general, playing esports, regardless of discipline, eliminates mood swings, reduces anxiety, and optimizes the emotional background. At the same time, therapy through esports is easier and cheaper than long-term psychotherapy courses or visits to a psychologist.
Speaking of gambling addiction, scientists emphasize that professional cyber athletes rarely suffer from it. Game manufacturers place loading screens and disclaimers reminding them of the dangers of staying at a computer or game console for a long time. There are also special algorithms in clubs that help track the addiction of individual gamers. Obviously, addictive behavior is not formed in all people, but mainly in people prone to addiction. There are tests to detect such a disorder, which is diagnosed in individuals who want to escape from reality.
At the same time, it should be noted that according to the results of recent research, the eSports industry is one of the most promising niches in the economy. Big brands are the main source of money in esports. Mostly it’s the game publishers themselves. They organize most tournaments and run esports teams. This helps them promote their products to casual gamers and retain their multi-million audience without major monthly updates.
Regional qualifying stages of tournaments are held online. But the finals of international tournaments require the full-time participation of players (they are called LAN-finals). Teams from different hemispheres cannot professionally fight online – even a minimal delay in the signal will affect the game.
Independent organizers of cyber tournaments make money on sponsorship, ticket sales and broadcasting of events. They sell advertisers the attention of the attracted audience. In addition to game publishers, tournaments are most often sponsored by manufacturers of computers, electronics, and gaming devices, as well as telecoms.
Raised on entertainment, esports fans are the most active consumers of products and services. Newzoo research has shown that cyber fans are more likely than the average user to download mobile games (about once a week) and use new payment systems. They are three times more likely to subscribe to Spotify (an audio streaming service that allows you to listen to music legally and for free) and twice as likely to subscribe to Netflix (an American entertainment company that provides movies and series based on streaming media). Of course, manufacturers of computers and components are most interested in this audience. So, last year, only American gamers lowered $ 3 billion on gaming hardware.
Esports as a phenomenon that appeared at the intersection of the gaming industry and sports is rapidly developing, attracting more and more players and spectators. Now the inclusion of esports disciplines in the program of the Olympic Games is being discussed, and at the Asian Games 2018 and 2023, esports are included in the official program.